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OBSERVATION AND DRAWING

The most important aspect of drawing technique is observation. You cannot draw successfully from life until you learn to see. The key to recording any texture, colour, tone or form begins with your eyes. If you do not learn to observe and recognise these things how can you expect to simulate them on your paper? Feel the smoothness of the screen that you are reading this from, or the paper if you have printed it out. Compare it with some of the clothes that you are wearing. Can you feel the difference?

If you were to make a drawing that included both the screen and the fabric you would obviously have to use your pencil to make the screen look like a screen and the cloth look like cloth. But to heighten the realism you would need to exaggerate the textures. Try to make one look smoother and the other to look rougher. To make your drawings more interesting try to place opposites next to each other, or as close together as possible. White looks whiter next to black, and vice versa. Rough looks rougher next to smooth. No matter what the subject is that you are rendering, adding opposites next to each other will give a more interesting and exciting drawing.

Although you are drawing from life you are not copying it. You are observing and then interpreting what you have seen to create another thing in its own right. The sugar bowl that you have observed will hold sugar. The sugar bowl on your paper is not a real sugar bowl; it is only graphite and paper. It will not hold sugar. We could develop this argument further and consider that all art must therefore be abstract. Something for another day perhaps.